17/04/2024

Richard Garcia had 'no words' to describe his reaction to Western United's score on Friday night. (Photo: Perth Glory/Twitter)

A controversial goal for opponents Western United has left Perth Glory coach Richard Garcia with more questions than answers about the VAR system.

Richard Garcia had ‘no words’ to describe his reaction to the goal that handed Perth Glory a 1-0 loss to Western United on Friday night.

United’s Dylan Wenzel-Halls charged towards goals wide, bringing the ball closer and closer to the line. He miraculously reflected it off keeper Brad Jones for a goal, much to the confusion of the Glory defence.

Garcia claimed that his players had all stopped, thinking the ball had gone out of play and was going to be turned over into Jones’ gloves. The goal passed a VAR check, and was accordingly allowed.

Coming in the 78′ minute after a match which was largely filled with either lacklustre attempts of approaching the box or wasted chances, it was a kick in the guts to the travelling Glory.

Speaking post-match, Garcia had few words to describe his reaction to the decision.

“I’ve seen the still now, and I’ve seen that the ball is out… what do I say to this?,” he said.

“To be honest, you can’t even talk about [VAR] anymore. I’m without speech… because honestly, it’s an ongoing battle. We either fix the system or we don’t use it at all.

“Do we have the resources to use it? Are we using it properly? I’m not sure… but at the moment, it doesn’t seem to be giving the right decisions at the right times.”

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Friday night’s outrage comes just days after the APL admitted that the VAR system ‘wasn’t working perfectly’ in last week’s season opener.

Also held at AAMI Park, there was confusion in the 80th minute between Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar when Roar youngster Kai Trewin thought he had equalised, but his header was called offside.

The images from the network broadcast remained inconclusive, and this once again seems to be the case in this match.

How the system can be approved remains to be seen, but this is certainly not the first time, or the last, an A-League coach has called for VAR to be overhauled.

Wasted chances for scoreless Glory

In a game where possession was largely equal and neither side had too many big chances at a score, Glory wasted the few they had.

Bruno Fornaroli had four shots on the night, two of which were on target, while Adrian Sardinero had another shot.

United goalkeeper Jamie Young had a fantastic night stopping those two in particular, blocking three of Fornaroli’s shots and keeping a clean sheet.

Sardinero found the Uruguayan one-on-one with Young in the shadows of the first half, but Fornaroli nicked the ball off past the far post.

Fornaroli had a couple of attempts from fouls, which were similarly won by the wall of United players.

It was a frustrating night for the Glory trying to foray forward, often finding themselves retreating back to their defenders in their front half when no avenues to score opened up.

Daniel Stynes and Pacifique Niyongabire similarly couldn’t take advantage of their opportunities to finish. Garcia’s men also struggled in set play, unable to convert any of their five corners.

They’re now set for a stint on the road, taking on Melbourne Victory next Sunday, Melbourne City on Wednesday, December 8, Brisbane Roar on December 18, before heading to New South Wales.

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